Senate Confirms First Openly LGBTQ Woman To Lifetime Seat On U.S. Appeals Court

Robinson was a civil litigator in personal apply from 1993 to 2010, throughout which era she centered on civil litigation together with employment regulation, employees’ compensation, contract disputes and household regulation. She additionally represented LGBTQ shoppers in civil and civil rights instances, together with main the freedom-to-marry motion in Vermont.

“Robinson’s confirmation is particularly historic given the dearth of LGBTQ+ representation on our courts and her legacy of advocating for LGBTQ+ equality,” mentioned Rakim Brooks, president of Alliance for Justice, a nationwide association of greater than 120 progressive organizations centered on the courts.

Robinson’s affirmation additionally shifts the steadiness of that court docket to a majority Democrat-appointed panel of judges, a element that progressive judicial advocates hailed as an indication that Biden is already making actual progress in reshaping the nation’s federal courts. The Senate has now confirmed a complete of three of Biden’s nominees to this court docket.

“President Biden’s laser-like focus on quickly nominating highly qualified, professionally diverse judges is paying off at the all-important courts of appeal level,” mentioned Chris Kang, chief counsel for the left-leaning Demand Justice advocacy group.

With Robinson’s affirmation, together with one other Monday vote to substantiate Toby Heytens to a U.S. appeals court docket, Biden has now gotten a complete of 28 appeals court docket and district court docket nominees confirmed since taking workplace. That’s greater than any U.S. president in fashionable historical past has had confirmed by this level of their time period.

For comparability’s sake, by this level of their presidencies, Donald Trump had confirmed a complete of 12 appeals court docket and district court docket nominees, Barack Obama had confirmed 5, George W. Bush had confirmed 12 and Bill Clinton had confirmed eight. Going again even additional, George H.W. Bush had confirmed seven, Ronald Reagan had confirmed 19 and Jimmy Carter had confirmed 26.

Biden has additionally caught to his vow to make his judicial nominees extra various than these of his predecessors, each professionally and demographically. Though most of Trump’s court docket picks had been white male company attorneys, Biden’s nominees to date have included public defenders, civil rights attorneys, voting rights attorneys and historic firsts with Native American and Muslim American picks.

He’s already appointed extra Black ladies to lifetime seats on federal appeals courts than all however one earlier president.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) famous that the Senate confirmed seven extra judges final week, nearly all of whom had been individuals of shade and 5 of whom had been ladies.

“Among them were more federal defenders, civil rights lawyers, election experts. They will bring sorely needed diversity to the judiciary,” he mentioned throughout remarks on the Senate flooring. “It’s no longer a bench … that is simply prosecutors, partners in large law firms, but rather many, many others from walks of life with different and needed perspectives on the federal bench.”